Friday, July 29, 2011

Quilts in the Vines

Last weekend Bernadette hosted the inaugural 'Quilts in the Vines' retreat at Bathurst . Bathurst is a city in the central west of NSW.

Bathurst is well known for many reasons. One of them being the famous car race on Mt Panorama, another is the Charles Sturt University, many prominent Australian journalists attended this university.For me Bathurst is famous for the divine quilt shop 'The Home Patch' run by the gorgeous Anni Downs. Anni also has a blog Hatched and Patched. I will warn you now this post is image heavy.

Friday morning in Sydney we woke to the most appalling weather , rain rain and more rain , certainly not congenial to driving over the Blue mountains and Mount Victoria into Bathurst but a few quilt shop ,cafe's and shop stops did the trick. Surprisingly when we arrived in Bathurst not a drop of rain to be seen. Pre dinner bubbles, a lovely meal at the local pub and a night cap in Bernadette's room saw us retire to our rooms at a respectable hour ready for our two day quilt in.

Bernadette who also is a Personal Fitness trainer invited anyone interested to partake in an early morning walk around the famous Mt Panorama race track. I have to say when I woke the next morning I looked out the window from my room and thought no it looks far too cold so I hopped back into bed , when an attack of the guilt's got the better of me I was up and dressed ready to meet at the agreed time. Only 3 of us walked and it was freezing , the only way to warm up was to walk faster.

This hill might not look terribly steep in this image , it was one of those killers, you know a gradual incline but incline upwards. We chatted away pointing out the beautiful vistas the higher we got , I might add as I was puffing and panting my way up the hill our PT didn't look anything like getting out of breath. Oh to be that fit. This is Kate in the red jacket, Kate was my mind reader when Bernadette asked if we wanted to continue as we came to the very steep hairpin bend. We wimped out at that point.

The sun shining over Bathurst was a gorgeous site

Our hotel was in sight, we stayed right on the race track. The rooms were lovely but we all commented that the decor is rather masculine, I can only imagine how noisy it must be on that certain weekend in October.

Algona is the venue Bernadette selected for our weekend retreat after she and her husband had driven many miles to find just the right place and a great choice it was.

Nothing could be faulted, we had a very large room to ourselves we were able to spread ourselves out , design walls set up , cutting tables , sewing machine tables ,fabulously talented tutor ,like minded friends, a wonderful view and get this, our very own chef , who kept the sustenance up to us at regular intervals. Really what more could a girl want.

Marg Sampson was our tutor for the weekend , and our inspiration was Mary Jane Hannaford.

Mary Jane was one of Australia's most creative quiltmakers , she came to Australia in 1842 aged 2 . MJH was jilted but had an only child whom she raised alone. Her daughter went on to have 9 children. Several strong themes run through Marys quilts , her religious faith, her love of Australia and a melancholy sense of loss and time passing . Mary meant for her quilts to be hung and used decoratively , she embroidered funny little saying and used scraps of fabrics in strip like fashion. (check out Kate's blog she has a link and some images). Marg encouraged us to be inspired by MJH but to make it our own .

Out came our fabric stashes ready to cut strips of varying sizes.

Some got straight to work

Kate's featherweight (Elvis) never let us down all weekend, quietly whirring away.

Such concentration from Sue, it was amazing just how quiet the room was at times as I guess we all delved into our memories wondering what ideas we could put in fabric.

It was exciting seeing ideas coming to life

Kate had memories of birds being chased which is forming the centre part of her quilt

Elaine was down on the floor with Marg throwing some ideas around.

This is what they came up with, these little people representing her 2 children. Elaine was so excited all weekend, she was heard to say on a number of occasions "Marg's back , I'm back" you see Elaine has been away nurturing babies for the last 8 years and Marg as we know has been living overseas, happiness all round.

Laurel is Canadian born , Australian by choice, how lovely is that, I think she is cutting out a crown

Bernadette's visualisation coming to fruition

Mine up on the design wall , I wasn't too interested in the circle. Appliquing fabrics not on the bias seemed too hard a task for my liking. No sense of adventure !!

Being a kiwi I think sheep need to make an appearance , Janet Bolton's naive style suits me down to the ground

Maybe a hexie or two being the addict I am

I'll be back later continuing this post. I am having some technical issues so don't want to loose what I have already done.

See you soon


1 comment:

Chookyblue...... said...

looks like a great weekend.........if I didn't have a retreat I would have been there.......